Monday, July 6, 2015

Loving Hamilton

Kia Ora everyone!! 

This week was just great! We invited 9 people to be baptized and they all accepted! We only have dates for 2 though, so we're still working on the others! But lemme tell you! One of them is a part member family. The husband is a member that was struggling with some addictions and such, and his wife really wanted him to baptize her! So he got up in Sacrament Meeting and bore the most powerful testimony. You can see a mighty change in him! He has had everyone on his side to help him.. he's the man! So he'll be baptizing Tanisha on the 25th of July!! So pumped! 

The other set we have is Carl. We found him during rescue visits for less actives. During these visits we met a less active named Kelly, and she was pumped that we came by. They're planning on coming to church next week. Carl was staying in her home. He's a relative, and we taught him and set him for the 9th of August!! So many miracles happening in Hamilton!! I love it! 

We found heaps of new investigators! Here in NZ, each district has totally different people and cultures. If you remember from my letters from Rewa, I taught mostly Samoans, Tongans, Cook Islanders, and Indians. In Taranaki I taught mostly White Kiwis, and Maoris. Here in Hamilton, we teach a lot of Africans and Asians. (Sorry, I just think this is cool, so I'm going to tell you! So don't get your panties in a bundle!) Right now we have investigators from Ghana, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia! And we are teaching a few Chinese! Man.. this Wednesday, we're going to watch the Testaments at the Visitors Center in Chinese with our investigator Flora! So pumped! She's a 20 year-old girl from China!! 

As Zone Leaders, we go on exchanges with all the District Leaders. And the District Leaders go on exchanges with all the other missionaries in their district. So this week, we went on exchanges with Elder Meyers and Manoa, both from Hawaii. I was with Elder Meyers! He's the man.. It was a good time. We woke up early and went to the chapel to play ball!! I still got it.. I still got it!! ;) We're actually going there again in a few hours to play some volley with some Islanders. If you remember Elder Taufa, my good buddy in the MTC...the amazing setter from Tonga?  He's in their district, so I'm pumped to play with him! 

Elder Hopoate is leaving in 1 1/2 transfers. Going on home! So he wants to be looking fresh when he gets there.  He's given me the assignment to get him into shape! (I was glad to do that!!) He's probably wishing he never said that to me.. because I've taken it seriously!! ;) We wake up at 6 every morning so we get a solid workout in. Every morning we've been going to the park down the road! Man... We throw down some mean as workouts there!! I'm gonna be jacked by the time I leave Hamilton!! ;) And the big fella, Elder Hopoate is lookin' good!! 

I got food poisoning the other day! We had to come in early and call it a night! Stupid Carl's Jr. But all good cause I made some mean marinated chicken the next day! Elder Hopoate and I smashed 14 things of chicken!! Delicious!!

I finally got my letter from Hanna.. and she finally got mine! We sent them in April!! So that was ridiculous! But all good!! It was way solid!! ;) 

I was reading in the Doctrine and Covenants yesterday during Sacrament Meeting! I came upon a verse that was solid.. so I wanted to share it with you!! It's found in D&C 100:1!! It gave me a lot of comfort for those who I love so much! It says "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friends Sidney, Joseph, [and Elder Butler], your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power." I love that scripture!! Out of all the people that could watch over my family as I'm gone, I would want it to be the Lord! He'll take care of you. He's knows that I love you!! It brings me peace reading this, and I hope it does the same for you (especially my dear mother!) ;) 

One other thing.  This is my invitation as a missionary to you!! My testimony has grown a ton out here on my mission. I've learned how important my testimony really is!! It says in D&C 76:79 (talking about the Terrestrial Kingdom,  "These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus!" Elder Cook says in his talk Choose Wisely..."In all things we should remember that being 'valiant in the testimony of Jesus' is the great dividing test between the Celestial and Terrestrial kingdoms." My Whanau... strengthen your testimonies!! PLEASE!! I want to live with you forever with nobody missing!! That is my invitation!! I love you guys!!

Elder Butler 

With Elder Hopoate and Sister Thalman (After her release.)

I got to meet up with the Thalman fam during their tour of New Zealand after picking up their daughter. :)

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